Fitness Magazine

Fat Civil Rights Simplified

By Danceswithfat @danceswithfat

DefendDiscussions about fat civil rights can become complicated, today I thought I would take a stab at simplifying things a bit.

Fat people have a right to exist in the bodies that we currently have.  We have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness and those rights are inalienable – they are not size, health, or healthy habit dependent.  Those rights include not living under ceaseless institutional stigma, bullying and oppression, or being made combatants in a war waged upon us by our government, which is also trying to recruit our friends, family, co-workers, companies and anyone else they can get to engage in combat against us for how we look.

You cannot have a war on obesity without having a war against obese people.  You cannot have a war on childhood obesity without having a war on fat kids.  Wars have casualties.  So when you use words like “war” and “eradicate”, when you say that you want to eliminate obesity and suggest that fat people should do extremely dangerous things like have our stomachs amputated, or eating 500 calories a day and getting injected with pregnant women’s urine, all in the pursuit of thinness, it starts to sound like “eliminate obesity” means that you want us either thin or dead, and you don’t much care which.

The research about weight and health upon which this goal of eradicating fat people for the good of society is built does not meet the basic criteria for competent research.

The methods used to calculate the “cost” of obese people are at best incredibly poorly done and, at worst  biased and profit driven,

Even if the studies did meet basic requirements for competent research, it is not ok to choose a group of people who are identifiable by a single visible physical characteristic, attempt to calculate their cost on society, and based on those numbers suggest that they should be eradicated.

If you are fat, you have the right to exist.  You have the right to stand up and say that the war being fought against you is not only based upon faulty intel, but is unjust in every way. You have the right to fight back, to say that if they want a war, you will damn well give them one.

Let’s Hang Out:

I’m setting up my speaking schedule for fall and currently I’ll be in Chicago, Vermont, New York, New Hampshire, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, San Francisco, and Las Vegas.  If you are in those areas and would like to arrange something (a talk, dance workshop, book signing,  lunch, whatever, just let me know and we’ll try to make it happen.)

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